Pressure ulcers, also called bedsores and pressure sores, can form when muscles and soft tissue press against a surface such as a chair, bed or even a shoe. If you spend significant time of your day in a bed or a chair, you are a higher risk of developing pressure sores. Prevention of this ulcers is of outmost importance. You, or your caregiver, need to check your body every day from head to toe.
Take care of your skin to help prevent pressure ulcers.
Pay special attention to the areas where pressure ulcers often form which include but not limited to: heels and ankles, knees, hips, spine, tailbone area, elbows, shoulders and shoulder blades, back of the head, ears.
When washing, use a soft sponge or cloth. Do not scrub hard.
Use moisturizing cream on your skin every day.
Clean and dry areas underneath your breasts and in your groin
Do not use talc powder or strong soaps
Try not to take a bath or shower every day. It can dry out your skin more.
Eat enough calories and protein to stay healthy.
Drink plenty of water every day.
Make sure your clothes are not increasing your risk of developing pressure ulcers.
Avoid clothes that have thick seams, buttons, or zippers that press on your skin.
Do not wear clothes that are too tight.
Keep your clothes from bunching up or wrinkling in areas where there is any pressure on your body.
If you use a wheelchair or spend a lot of time in bed make sure you:
Change positions or use your arms to lift yourself off the chair every 15 minutes to take pressure off areas.
Ensure you have a proper fitting wheelchair.
Use a pressure reducing cushion in your chair (NO Donut-shaped devices).
Reposition a minimum of every 1 -2 hours when in bed. Use pillows or foam to decrease pressure over bony areas and pressure points such as heels.
Use a pressure reducing mattress.
Avoid raising your head above a 30 degree angle.
Never drag yourself to change positions as this will cause skin breakdown.
Call your doctor or nurse if you see early signs of pressure ulcers. These are: